The folks at Twitter have been busy this week. Here is a recap of Twitter News for the week so far…
1. Twitter announced that they have acquired Tweetie which is an iPhone app that is very popular. They are renaming it to “Twitter for iPhone” and will remove the current $2.99 price down to free. There are plenty of Twitter applications in the iPhone store, but Tweetie is one of the best and mostly used iPhone apps. Twitter has also released an official Twitter application for the Blackberry, and plans to release a Twitter app for the iPad.
This is a smart move. Before when you would go to the App Store on the iPhone and searched for “Twitter”, you would not see an actual application called Twitter, but instead you would see 3rd party applications which may confuse a user into thinking there is not a Twitter iPhone application. Dropping the price down to free is really nice too, unless of course you already bought it.
2. Twitter has bought the domain twee.tt “.tt” is the country domain for Trinidad and Tobago. It seems that Twitter is trying to obtain control of the word Tweet as much as they can. Twitter did try to trademark “Tweet” last year but failed. Twitter also owns twitter.tt. Neither of these domains are active yet. I am curious to what plans they have for these domains. Tech Crunch suggested that twee.tt would be a good site for a URL shortener. Twitter currently uses bit.ly as its default URL shortener.
3. Twitter has now launched an ad platform they are calling “Promoted Tweets.” For right now, the ads will only be in search results from its own website twitter.com, but eventually they will be in user feeds. Users will start seeing these ads today. A single ad will appear at the top of a search. The ad is an actual tweet, and users can “re-tweet” the ad to their followers if they choose. Twitters first advertisers are Best Buy, Starbucks, Bravo, and Virgin America. Unlike search ads on popular internet search sites where you have multiple ads, there will only be one Twitter ad on the page at a time. Twitter has been testing this for months internally and will monitor closely how the public reacts to Promoted Tweets.
When I am browsing the web, I am not a fan of popup ads taking over the page, but ads on a page are fine with me as long as they don’t take the page over. Websites need to generate revenue to be able to continue to offer content to their visitors. One thing I don’t want to see though is my Twitter feed full of ads. I will be curious to see how they implement ads into user feeds. This move could either make Twitter some money, or drive people away from using their service.